Don McCanne outlines below some things the previous post, Universal healthcare could save America trillions: what’s holding us back? | Opinion | The Guardian left out.
Here are Don’s Comments:
Those who are up to date on the health policy literature may not find much new here, but there are a few points worth emphasizing:
* It is irrefutable that a well designed, single payer Medicare for All program would meet our health reform goals of affordability, universality, equity, effectiveness and efficiency.
* The barrier to reform is not financing since we are already spending enough to pay for such a system, especially once administrative efficiency is factored in.
* Using taxes to pay for the system should not be a problem since our current public spending on government-financed health programs, on tax expenditures for employer-sponsored plans, and on the purchase of health care for public employees would already pay for much of the system, and the remaining taxes needed would be offset by the elimination of insurance premiums, deductibles and other cost sharing.
* The fact that the taxes would be progressive would be a small step to help offset the egregious inequities in income that hold back too many of us who are contributing our fair share of effort to society while too often having to scrimp on essential needs. Tax policies should be used to adjust inequities that result in a select few being able to accumulate obscene levels of wealth – amounts far, far in excess of what their personal efforts contribute to society. They will not suffer from a very modest reduction in their excesses.
* The primary barrier to reform is political. Although Adam Gaffney says, “Good numbers do not a political movement make,” they sure do help. Advocacy is much easier when the facts are on the side of the people. So let’s all get out and nurture that political movement that we need.
The policy fight should be over. It is a political battle that we now face.